Santa Clara County man arrested in double murder of wife, daughter

Bay Area

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KRON) – Tragic killings in the South Bay are under investigation.

Police in Sunnyvale say a father admitted to killing his wife and their 11-year-old daughter. 

Investigators found the bodies in a home on West Homestead Road Wednesday afternoon.

The father is a software engineer and his wife was a resource specialist with a local school district.

Neighbors tell KRON4 they were a quiet family and they were stunned to see police blocking off the area around the home for several hours yesterday.

Police are calling this a tragedy for everyone involved.

Flowers lay in the driveway of a Sunnyvale home where police found a mother and daughter had been killed. 

Investigators say 51-year-old Leonid Yamburg turned himself into the city’s Department of Public Safety and confessed to the crimes. 

Neighbors have been horrified by the killings.

“It’s very scary. I mean, it’s really tragic,” Sanjoy Mondal said. 

Sanjoy Mondal says he’s lived next door to the family on West Homestead Road for several years. 

When police swarmed the area Wednesday he wasn’t sure what was going on but never imagined this.

“It’s just very sad seeing all the police and everyone out here yesterday. It really, it was very frightening. Very frightening to know that something like this could happen,” a neighbor said.

Police have identified the mother and Yamburg’s wife as 47-year-old Svetlana Nikitina.

Her body was found in the garage while the 11-year-old’s was found in the bathroom — Both had suffered from severe injuries to the head.

The Cupertino Union School District confirmed Nikitina was a resource specialist for one of their elementary schools. 

A spokesperson sent this statement to KRON4 saying in-part:

“We are so saddened by this tragedy and are working to support our students, staff and community during this very difficult time of tremendous loss.”   

“This is just a horrific tragedy. Our hearts are broken for the family, the victims and all their friends,” Sunnyvale DPS Captain Craig Anderson said.

Police say after Yamburg told a records clerk he killed his wife, he declined to speak any further without a lawyer. 

As their investigation continues, a neighborhood is left shaken.

“Prayers going out to their family. That’s all, it’s really sad. We all feel the pain,” the neighbor said.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner’s Office is still working on the specific cause of death.

Yamburg is right now in the county jail without bail.

Anyone with additional information about this investigation is encouraged to contact Detective Holt at 408-730-4565.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker

Trending Stories

Latest News

More News